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Which E-commerce Platform is the Best for Your Business?

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Since Expivi’s a solution to many new e-commerce businesses, we often get asked what the best e-commerce platform would be for their business. There are many options to choose from, but we’ll have a look at the three of the top e-commerce platforms at the moment. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each one, so that you can decide which is the best CMS for e-commerce for your business.

As of February 2022, the most popular e-commerce platforms are: WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento (source: Built With).

WooCommerce

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a free, open-source e-commerce platform that can be used to power any WordPress website for selling products, and is being used by over 3 million online stores, including some of the biggest names in retail.

Because WooCommerce is a plugin for the popular WordPress content management system, it can be used with all available free and paid WordPress themes and plugins, making it a budget friendly and cheapest e-commerce platform.

Pros and cons of using WooCommerce

Pros:

  • Relatively low cost e-commerce platform
    No need to pay a subscription fee. You only need a domain name and hosting package. If you’re tech savvy enough, you don’t even need to hire a developer.
  • Open source
    As WordPress is an open source CMS platform, you have total control of every aspect of the platform, including the source files to create special functionalities or make tweaks.
  • Easy development if you’re familiar with WordPress
  • Widely supported
    Because of the popularity of WordPress, there are a lot of available themes and plugins (both free and paid) to add new features and integration options to your store. For example Expivi has a native plugin that makes it possible to integrate a 3D and AR configurator with your WooCommerce website. Get in touch and we’ll give you a demo.

Cons:

  • Can be slow as you grow
    As your store grows with more products and more visitors, your website could be slowed down. It’s important to know how to optimize your website.
  • Extra plugins needed for extra features
    Although the base version of WooCommerce is shipped with the essential e-commerce functionalities, you might need quite a lot of additional plugins for extra functionalities and integration options.
  • Time consuming to develop
    If you’re not tech savvy enough or have no experience with WordPress, there’s a steep learning curve to have your WooCommerce store up and running.

Why you should choose WooCommerce

If you want the best low budget e-commerce platform and total control of your webshop (in terms of coding and design), then WooCommerce is a very good option for you. Thanks to the many plugins and themes, you can build your own webshop that’s catered to your needs and that’s why it’s considered as the best e-commerce platform for small businesses and startups.

Shopify

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company that provides a powerful e-commerce platform that allows small and medium-sized businesses owners to set up their own online stores.

Shopify is more than just an e-commerce platform; it’s also an excellent CRM software with features like automated marketing campaigns and sales reporting. Shopify integrates with many third-party apps, too, so you can easily manage your inventory, taxes, shipping rates and more.

It offers a variety of themes and designs to choose from, so you can find a design that matches your brand and Shopify is considered as one of the best and easiest e-commerce platforms there are.

Pros and cons of using Shopify

Pros:

  • Relatively easy to set up your own store even if you’re not tech savvy.
  • Lots of supported themes and apps to choose from to add extra functionalities and integration possibilities.
  • Cloud based software as a service platform, so you don’t need to worry about hosting and installing your store on a server first.
  • The base setup of your Shopify store comes with anything you need to run a successful e-commerce store.

Cons:

  • Closed platform, so there’s hardly any custom coding possible to optimize your store.
  • The more apps you install on your Shopify store, the bigger the risk of your shop being slowed.
  • Subscription based: you pay a monthly or annual subscription fee and in addition you need to pay payment processing fees.
  • Special functionalities and features you want to add to your shop can usually only be achieved by installing paid apps.

Why you should choose Shopify

If you’re not on a very tight budget and don’t want the hassle of installing, setting up and maintaining your e-commerce store, then Shopify is the go to platform for you. Thanks to its popularity, there are quite a lot of supported themes and apps for special functionalities and features to choose from to build a successful webshop. Keep in mind that you might be confronted with paying a considerable amount of fees for payment processing and paid apps.

Magento

What is Magento

Magento Community Edition is the free, open-source version of Magento. It provides a fully-featured e-commerce platform for small to medium businesses with limited (but not small) budgets or resources.

Because Magento was built as an e-commerce platform, a fresh installation of Magento comes with a lot of features and functionalities for your webshop that you might never use. Thanks to its popularity, there are lots of themes and extensions to add special functionalities and integration options.

Pros and cons of using Magento

Pros:

  • Base version of Magento is shipped with functionalities and features that other e-commerce platforms only offer by installing additional plugins or apps.
  • Magento is also shipped with a lot of B2B functionalities, making it one of the best B2B e-commerce platforms available.
  • Magento is an open-source platform, so you have full control of every aspect of the website to optimize your website.
  • Because of how the infrastructure of Magento was designed, it can handle stores with tens of thousands of products, making it a very scalable platform. This is the reason why bigger e-commerce stores are built on Magento.

Cons:

  • Requires a resourceful server and in terms of page speed, it’s not the fastest platform.
  • Custom coding might require very knowledgeable and skilled developers. Also adding special paid extensions could be costly, making Magento not a very good option if you’re on a very tight budget.
  • Because of the many features available, there’s a steep learning curve to set up, use and maintain a Magento store.
  • Community support might be lacking in comparison to other platforms, as Magento requires highly skilled developers who are probably needed elsewhere.

Why you should choose Magento

If you’re looking for a robust e-commerce platform that is scalable and you’re not on a tight budget, then Magento is an option you might want to consider. Because of its scalability, it’s used by a lot of enterprise level companies with the best and most popular e-commerce sites.

Although Magento is already shipped with a lot of advanced features and functionalities, adding extra functionalities with paid apps or custom development can be very costly.

Conclusion

Choosing the best CMS for e-commerce for your business could be very overwhelming at first. In this top e-commerce platform comparison we gave you a quick overview of the 3 best e-commerce platforms for your consideration and hopefully it will give you a couple of discussion points with your web development agency.

If you’re already using one of the e-commerce platforms mentioned in this post (or any other platform), we’d love to discuss with you how Expivi can enrich your e-commerce webshop with 3D and Augmented Reality. Since we have native plugins for these platforms, integrating Expivi in your webshop is very easy.

Contact our team and we’re happy to show you how.

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